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« Will Sir John condemn "hide the decline"? | Main | James Fleet on The Heretic »
Monday
Feb212011

Diary dates

A few dates for your diaries:

There is a debate at Imperial College London on Thursday. The subject is "Has the media failed science" and it will feature Richard Black and Simon Singh among others.

On Friday, dendroclimatologist Rob Wilson is speaking at the University of St Andrews Open Association. I will be going along if anyone wants to hook up. [Update: not sure if this is open to the public - I'll find out].

I'm speaking in the same series of lectures at St Andrews on 18 March.

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Reader Comments (17)

The Imperial debate has got to be a foregone conclusion. With three BBC employees on the stage (and the BBC is never ever at fault) any failings must be due to other parts of the media.

Feb 21, 2011 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Black also has the chair. Not a good start IMHO.

Feb 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

I think it even more likely that science has failed the media (along with everyone else in society).

Feb 21, 2011 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan

"Has the media failed science"

Sorry to be picky but it's Have the media failed science - there's more than one medium involved. I'd have hoped that professional authors and IC science wallahs would know that.

Whatever, thanks for the tip re the Friday St Andrews meet. DV, I'll be there.

Feb 21, 2011 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB

The St A talks appear to be part of a lecture series "Course fee for the academic year 2009-2010 (sic): £40".

Do you know if it is possible to attend just one or two of these without enrolling?

[BH adds - no I hadn't seen that. Maybe I'll not be going!]

Feb 21, 2011 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterQ

It would appear to me that main-stream-media has seen thru climate science and its alarmist claims.

Surely how environmental journalism has been corrupted by green activists and how the scientific journals have been corrupted by activist scientists is far more important.

Nature's definitive editorialising of recent studies which clearly ignored the huge uncertainties in the science highlights how corrupt the whole process has become.

Misinformation is the name of the game in climate science.

Feb 21, 2011 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

With a title like that, the London debate won't be worth attending. They will no doubt trot out the usual ignorant pronouncements that the only problem with MMR was the way the media ran with the scare, whilst being totally ignorant of the fact that Wakefield's research results have now been replicated in 20 different papers across 4 continents. Meanwhile thousands of children continue to suffer chronic gut problems and autism symptoms, but go un-treated, for career reasons. Ignorance is bliss and it is much easier to go with the consensus.

St Andrews sounds more interesting but sorry Bish, can't make it. FYI one of my neighbours is a retired forestry professor, he recently told me that for his PhD he tried to establish a link between climate and tree growth using rings from English oaks. Don't know the period he was studying but he couldn't establish any link what so ever.

Feb 21, 2011 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

he tried to establish a link between climate and tree growth using rings from English oaks. Don't know the period he was studying but he couldn't establish any link what so ever.

He should have tried linking the English oaks to the Global temps or may be Tasmania, sure one of The Team could have helped him out.

Bristlecones rule OK

Sarc off

Feb 21, 2011 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterbreath of fresh air

"Wakefield's research results have now been replicated in 20 different papers across 4 continents. Meanwhile thousands of children continue to suffer chronic gut problems and autism symptoms, but go un-treated, for career reasons. Ignorance is bliss and it is much easier to go with the consensus."
Feb 21, 2011 at 2:03 PM | lapogus

OK - along with Lucy Skywalker, that's the 2nd person here I've seen claiming that Wakefield's work is anything other than a total farce. What a surprise, a paranoid person who doesn't understand science, thinks that scientists are in on a big conspiracy, and also likes to believe that AGW isn't happening.

Comments like this are just a gift for me, as they expose the total lack of actual scientific scepticism shown by those here.

It's now been an hour since this comment, and not one person has stepped up to dismiss it as the bunkum it is.

Climate Sceptics = dismissive of everything that gives evidence for AGW, unthinkingly and unquestioning accepting everything else.

Feb 21, 2011 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

If you want to discuss Wakefield please do it elsewhere.

Feb 21, 2011 at 3:23 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

ZBD: lapogus is entitled to his point of view and entitled to air it. So are those of us who accept the medical consensus on MMR, like you and me. What is the problem? Is it that because the notorious denier Richard Drake agrees with you on MMR your opinion is now worthless of all other subjects? Of course not. Get a grip.

Feb 21, 2011 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Aha, correction, he was entitled to air it until the host said otherwise. But otherwise my point stands.

Feb 21, 2011 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Meantime, I think I'll go to the Imperial event. One big reason is that Richard Black did one extremely good bit of reporting in the last year, on 16 Sep, entitled 'Rapid' 2010 melt for Arctic ice - but no record. I spotted that within minutes of it going up, well before Joe Romm and others laid into the guy. I want to tell him that was good and I want to learn which way the wind is blowing in such circles. And there is a Q&A. All good enough for me.

Feb 21, 2011 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

"Has the media failed science?" (Bish, you forgot the qustion mark)

Science, yet again, being used in place of "uncertain projections from conflicting data". Sigh.

The motion should be: "Has the media colluded with bad scientists?"

Feb 21, 2011 at 8:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterO'Geary

zebedee - our host does not want us to discuss the subject here which I will respect. But your argument does not stand up - I'm clearly in the minority here, in other words the overwhelming view amongst climate sceptics is for the consensus position. Feel free to label me whatever you like (you are only displaying your ignorance of the subject) but you can't stick the same label on the other climate sceptics here who have more faith the scientific process than I do.

Feb 21, 2011 at 11:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

O'Geary - how about "Who does the media serve?"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2011/02/war_and_peace_making_sense_of.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7843186.stm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/11/four_degrees_of_hurt.html

Richard's coverage of Steig's Nature Corrigendum and the actual publication and meat of O'Donnell et al 10 do not come up with quick googling. Just for balance, does anybody have the links?

Feb 21, 2011 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Media may have failed science, but it hasn't failed the media or PR. See

http://joannenova.com.au/2011/02/floods-are-manmade-you-say-now/

Two new papers came along showing that, golly, warming really “formally” “officially” caused floods after all, and they were just what the PR-doctor ordered. So the BBC, ABC, and the usual suspects rushed out to talk about how it was now “proven” that any flood was now officially man-made with a “robust” study and the “first scientific evidence” of a link. Richard Black even got excited that the study was based on “real world data”, which makes you wonder which studies used the fake sort?

Yet even Real Climate has criticised those Nature papers, which is good in a way because it's high time RC did start to criticise alarmist science, but leaves the question about where did the BBC get it's 'science' from? Did Black have a quick scan, think "this confirms my bias, let's run with it" without any further checking?

Feb 22, 2011 at 12:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

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